Bingham’s End of Year Traditions

Since Bingham’s first senior class of 15 people in 1908 to its current senior class of 788 people, traditions have held great significance. Traditions that many students look forward to the most are the ones that occur during the end of their time here. Traditions such as the Senior Dinner Dance, Grad Night, Yearbook Stomp, and even Miner Quest, inspired by Cotopaxi’s Questival,  have had huge impacts on student life as they are brought together to celebrate their years. The school hymn beautifully reflects these ending traditions in the lyrics, “We lay our dreams of Bingham High to rest. We’ll always remember the blue and the white and faces so tender and dear.”

The coming together of the outgoing class in these traditions, such as at the senior dinner-dance, allow for a last hurrah for the senior class. It creates a connection with the student body and school history as they relate to the past generations who have walked in their same shoes. The friendships and community are remembered and marked in the school’s history at the yearbook stomp. Individuals and groups from every class write memories and well wishes that will eventually be looked back on with endearment by not only the student, but perhaps by their posterity. 

Mr Arbogast, a long time teacher here at Bingham, offered some wisdom on the subject saying, “Despite the fact that the world changes, the overall tradition of our end-of-year activities serve to unite the 5-6 generations of Miners who still practice the traditions started 113 years ago.” Although they may be leaving high school behind, the experiences and memories made during these traditions will carry on throughout people’s lives. 

Now, although aforementioned school-sanctioned traditions such as the senior dinner-dance are usually the biggest with the most impact, students have some traditions of their own. Traditionally, the senior class will have a “Senior Prank” of sorts at the end of the school year. This is seen by many students as a way to leave with a bit of a light-hearted mark on the school. For example, the graduating class four years ago decided to hide rubber ducks around the school and although possibly irritating to the end of year learning environment, these ducks can still be found around the school as a reminder of this class. Senior Pranks, when not harmful or damaging, can be a fun and uniting way for the student body to come together without the organization of the school. 

Bingham Alumni have spread across the country, but there are still some alumni at the school today, such as Mr. Duncan, who remembers and cherishes the traditions of Bingham High School. When asked how he and others have been affected by these traditions he said, “It can be a very special moment that brings back a great deal of great memories both of my time in school here as a student and a teacher.” Mr. Duncan is just one example of thousands of people that have shared the experiences of Bingham and its traditions. 

Often the biggest focus of end of year traditions is the seniors who will be leaving this chapter of their lives. When asked, a few teachers had some great advice for the graduating class as they begin a new chapter. Mr. Duncan offered the wise words: “Be ready to adapt and be ready to learn.” He elaborated on this advice talking about the importance of doing the best that you can. Hard work is what leads to success, so be willing and eager to learn how to be the best. 

Mr. Arbogast, who is another wise teacher, gave some simple, yet impactful, advice that he learned from his years of schooling saying, “‘categorize and shelve’ your high school memories.  Not in any negative way, but once you leave and graduate, you won’t be coming back.  Take a trip . . .  do something unique . . .  put a bow around your memories that you can come back to much later and unwrap.” While it is important to cherish the memories made here at Bingham, it is equally as important to continue growing. High school’s purpose is to prepare young people for life to come. 

The traditions of Bingham High will continue for many generations to come. They will unite people in a generation and across generations. No matter where one goes or who one becomes, “Once a Miner, always a Miner!”